In mid-August, the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia (top left) and Alberta, (top center) Canada, are still clinging to their winter blanket of snow, while valleys are lush, and the agricultural plains to the east appear green with crops. At bottom center, the purple hue of Utah’s Great Salt Lake is caused by the salt-loving bacteria that can survive in the increasingly saline waters. The northern part of the lake is cut off from the freshwater inflow in the south by a railroad causeway. North, in Idaho, irrigated croplands around the path of the Snake River seem almost surreally green. Between the Snake River and the Bitterroot Mountains, a dark brown splotch reveals ancient lava flows from the region’s volcanic past. Sensor: Terra/MODIS. Data Start Date: 8/13/02. Data End Date: 8/13/02.